In Celebration of the Class of 2022
Colonial Intermediate Unit 20 congratulates the Class of 2022 for their perseverance, resiliency, and motivation to succeed. This year marked the return of in person recognition ceremonies for the first time since the pandemic. Following are highlights of the celebrations.
Colonial IU 20 Graduation Ceremony
On May 26, 2022, graduating students from special education classrooms in Northampton and Monroe counties celebrated their accomplishments from their time in CIU 20 programs. The ceremony was held at Colonial Academy in Wind Gap, PA. Ms. Jackie Bartek, Supervisor of Special Education, and Dr. Christopher Wolfel, Executive Director, presided over this year's ceremony.
Lauren Dietrick, Wilson Area School District, gave the student address.
Camron Fish, Pocono Mountain School District, presented the graduates.
Each graduate received a certificate of participation from CIU 20 and representatives from each of the ten districts were at the ceremony to present graduates with their district diplomas. Graduates also had the opportunity to participate in their home school district’s ceremony. More pictures can be found here.
Bethlehem Area School District 
Isaiah Ferandez
Mason Jackus
Daniel Morales
Nathan Musselman
Janlee Rodriguez-Rivera
Nathaniel Stanley
Sabrina Claire Swiss

Easton Area School District 
Matthew Banka
Anuhya Devershetty
Nole Robert Ebner
Gustavo Flores

East Stroudsburg Area School District 
Gabriella N. DeLeon
Ian Thomas Haener

Nazareth Area School District
Kailyn Emily Haldaman
George Papageorgio

Northampton Area School District
Jason T. Beltz
Seth Lechman
Anthony R. Marrone
Georgianna Houck Nolf
Anthony Michael Samaan
Thomas W. Sedor, Jr
Stephanie Marie Trynkiewicz
Pen Argyl Area School District 
Logan Wismer

Saucon Valley School District
Alex Svolos
David Weintraub

Stroudsburg Area School District 
Jared Khan
Isaiah Noah Jerimme Williams

Pocono Mountain School District 
Michael T. Carter
Matthew Castillo
Camron Paul Fish
Cassandra Saunders

Wilson Area School District 
Lauren Emilia Dietrick
Project SEARCH Graduation Ceremony
On June 6, 2022, eleven students were celebrated for completing their Project SEARCH internship, an innovative program in partnership with Kalahari Resorts in Pocono Manor. Project SEARCH is a one year training program for young adults with disabilities to gain work experience and obtain competitive employment in their communities.
Mr. Mason Messinger, CIU 20 teacher, presided over the ceremony and each graduate shared what they learned in their internships to the audience that included families, Kalahari representatives, district representatives, CIU 20 representatives, and other local and state agencies.
Bangor Area School District
Brittney Catalano
Jayden Escuadro
Joshua Mancuso

East Stroudsburg Area School District
Rossy Sawyer

Nazareth Area School District
Ben Yerance

Pleasant Valley School District
Khem-El Johnson
Ireland McShane

Pocono Mountain School District
Antonio Orozco Jr.
Joshua Satisfield
Tabitha Tullos

Stroudsburg Area School District
Julia Garver
Colonial Academy Senior Recognition Day
On May 27, 2022, Colonial Intermediate Unit 20 recognized twenty one students who attend Colonial Academy and graduated this spring from their respective school districts in Northampton and Monroe counties. Colonial Academy Principal Dr. Carolyn Krotowski and Assistant Principal Mr. Mike Halamar presided over the ceremony. The entire staff of Colonial Academy and Colonial Intermediate Unit 20 wish these graduates success in their future endeavors.
Bangor Area School District
Angel Fletcher
Nash J Harman
Ryan Moyer
Conner J Royer

Bethlehem Area School District
Isiah M Cruz
David Gomez
Nathan Musselman
Janlee Rodriguez-Rivera
Thomas Schafer
Idris K Thompson

Easton Area School District
Katie Maier

Nazareth Area School District
Keith J St Clair
Northampton Area School District
Stephen Biszek III
Fantasia Ash Bubick
Logan Forte
Joshua Phillips
Anthony Samaan

Pocono Mountain School District
William M Adams
Maria Ottomanelli

Stroudsburg Area School District
Khalill L Mayes

Wilson Area School District
Grace Harris
Students "Dance the Night Away" at CIU 20 Prom
On June 10, 2022, students from Colonial IU 20 programs participated in this year's prom, held at Colonial Academy in Wind Gap. The event was planned by a committee of volunteers from the staff of CIU 20 and the families of the CIU 20 Parent Support T.E.A.M.

Logan Wismer (Pen Argyl Area SD) was named Prom King and Georgianna Nolf (Northampton Area SD) was named Prom Queen.
Thank you to the volunteers and community partners that donated their time and resources to make this event a reality for students and families:
  • Nick Strebig - Culinary Arts Teacher for helping with the food prep
  • Matrix Behavior Solutions - Ms. Robin Kahn for a monetary donation
  • Potts' of Nazareth - donation of hot dogs and hot dog buns
  • DJ Skyhawk (James Stout) and DJ Coffee (Daryl Bailey) for the music
  • Lisa Newberry, Photographer from The Belt and Beyond publication 
  • Colonial IU 20 Parent Support T.E.A.M. - numerous volunteers
  • Colonial IU 20 Staff - numerous volunteers
Social and Emotional Wellness Supports

Year in Review
Colonial Intermediate Unit 20 has been working with the Pennsylvania Department of Education on the initiative of "The Accelerated Learning System" - which states that academic achievement and social/emotional well being are accelerated by a strong foundation of healthy system conditions and scaffolded supports. Simply put, CIU 20 has been assisting districts in creating a supportive learning environment. This can be further defined as strategically identifying learning and social/emotional gaps for students given the varied impact of the pandemic, while offering resources and technical assistance to close those gaps.

Following is an overview of the supports, resources and training that CIU 20 has provided to member districts in the past year.
Training and Capacity Building
  • Supported member districts in Trauma Informed Care training.
  • CIU 20 staff trained to build capacity for assisting internal and external customers in the implementation of the "Compassion Resilience Toolkit" to be offered in 2022-2023.
  • Assisted district buildings in the development and implementation of Multi Tiered System of Supports and / or School Wide Positive Behavior Supports
  • Created internal CIU 20 Equity, Inclusion and Belonging Committee (EIB)
  • Regional collaboration focused on EIB with a series of trainings facilitated Dr. Tyrone Howard.
Collaboration, Partnerships and Intervention
  • SEW Regional Networking Group - 5 meetings during the 2021/2022 school year in a professional learning community format.
  • Multi-County regional collaboration centered around Trauma Awareness with the goal of increasing resiliency in our Region - Resilient Lehigh Valley
  • Handle With Care - model of enhanced police-school communications to better support students exposed to traumatic events. 
  • IU Regional SEW Summit in Fall of 2021
  • Partnered with IUs 18 and 19 for regional SEW Summit on May 19, 2022
  • Served over 750 children and families through the following CIU 20 programs: Partial Hospitalization Services, Psychiatric Outpatient Clinics and IBHS Services.
Staff Spotlight: Christopher Hindson
Innovative Occupational Therapist
Christopher Hindson has been an Occupational Therapist with Colonial IU 20 since 2004. He has also served as a facilitator for the northern location of the Extended School Year program for the last ten years. He says that the most rewarding part of being a part of the CIU 20 team is "getting the opportunity to work with a team of people trying to help kids become independent and successful in life." In terms of staying focused when things don't go as planned, he credits his ability to go with the flow and pivot to help students succeed, specifically "being flexible...jump from one task to something completely different is the way that I can get things done in challenging environments."
Mr. Hindson tries to connect with students by remaining positive, "I try to keep an upbeat attitude and try to get the kids to feed off those vibes. Having a friendly demeanor really helps the kids want to engage and work on tasks that would otherwise be difficult. In the tough times, I think its important to bring the calm to the crazy."
New Sensory Paths at Pocono Mountain School District
Christopher Hindson's advice to new staff members is to "think outside the box and not to be afraid to talk to building administrators and supervisors about ideas and ways to help our students." He is modeling that advice with his recent collaboration with Kristen Miele-Beatty, National Art Honor Society Advisor at Pocono Mountain West High School, on a new Sensory Path project at Tobyhanna Elementary Center. Through this project, high school art students will design and install Occupational Therapy (OT) Sensory Paths for use in shared hallway spaces. This will help make OT exercises more accessible to all students.
Mr. Hindson's motivation for this project came from his recognition that schools don't always have the resources or capacity to create a dedicated space for a "sensory room" - a therapeutic space with a variety of equipment that provides students an opportunity to calm and focus themselves so they can be better prepared for learning and interacting with others. Chris and his Occupational Therapy fieldwork students created a sensory path model at Clear Run Elementary Center that was received very well by the staff and students. "We have plans for next school year to add more to the hallway and possibly branch out to even more locations," says Chris.
In Recognition of CIU 20 Retirees
The CIU 20 leadership team thanks the dedicated individuals who retired this year for their years serving our IU 20 family and public education.
Maria Baksh, Associate Teacher, 1 year at IU / 1 year total
Donna Baran, Associate Teacher, 16 years at IU / 16 years total
Richard Bicket, Associate Teacher, 3 years at IU / 5.5 years total
Glenn Roy Brown, Drivers Ed Instructor, 22 years at IU / 22 years total
Donna Campanella, Teacher, 19.5 years at IU / 19.5 years total
Janice Drosnock, Associate Teacher, 32 years at IU / 34.5 years total
Kelly Giannetto, Management Assistant, 22 years at IU / 28 years total
Maureen Gower, COTA, 21 years at IU / 25 years total
Patricia Harms, Associate Teacher, 20 years at IU / 20 years total
Dr. Donna Hopstetter, Supervisor of Special Ed, 36 years at IU / 36.5 years total
Mary Ellen Jacobson, Associate Teacher, 2 years at IU / 2 years total
Denise Kaminski, Asst. Dir. of Prof. Learning & Curriculum, 15.5 years at IU / 34 years total
Lee Koehler, Bus Driver, 6 years at IU / 6 years total
Laura Laird, Associate Teacher, 23.5 years at IU / 23.5 years total
Tamie Lancaster, Associate Teacher, 16.5 years at IU / 16 years total
Gregory Lehman, Bus Driver, 7 years at IU, 7 years total
Ellen McHale, Service Coordinator, 24 years at IU, 24 years total
Sharon Miller, Associate Teacher, 5.5 years at IU / 5.5 years total
Cynthia Miller, COTA, 17 years at IU / 17 years total
Laura Napoli, Associate Teacher, 12 years at IU / 12 years total
Cynthia Nicholas, Management Assistant, 16 years at IU / 16 years total
William Oatman, Associate Teacher, 12 years at IU / 10 years total
Christine Pacovich, Associate Teacher, 13 years at IU / 13 years total
Nancy Rance, Transition Coach, 23 at IU / 23 years total
Cindy Searles, Vehicle Monitor, 7 years at IU / 7 years total
Kyle Jones Sherman, Teacher, 29 years at IU / 30 years total
Denise Steacy, Transition Coach, 22 years at IU / 22 years total
Margaret Story, Associate Teacher, 9 years at IU / 13 years total
Mary Tukovits, Bus Driver, 15.5 years at IU / 15.5 years total
Laura Vaillant, Associate Teacher, 16 years at IU / 16 years total
The Colonial IU 20 Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Committee seeks to foster a sense of belonging for all students, families, and staff. Below is what is being celebrated this month.
Juneteenth (short for “June Nineteenth”) marks the day when federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas in 1865 to take control of the state and ensure that all enslaved people be freed. The troops’ arrival came a full two and a half years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. Juneteenth honors the end to slavery in the United States and is considered the longest-running African American holiday. On June 17, 2021, it officially became a federal holiday.
Pride Month
Pride month honors the accomplishments of individuals who are part of the LGBTQ+ community, while also recognizing the continued efforts to achieve equal justice and equal opportunities.
Follow Us to Learn More
Follow us on our social media channels to learn more about the resiliency of #AmazingIU20Kids and creative approaches to learning that our #AmazingIU20Staff have implemented!
At Colonial IU 20, we believe in RELATIONSHIPS that support student growth, RESPONSIVENESS to stakeholders crucial needs, RESULTS demonstrated through effective services and programs, and INNOVATION to improve student outcomes.
Colonial IU 20 provides educational, administrative, and management services to 13 school districts and 3 career and technical centers in Northampton, Monroe, and Pike Counties. As one of the community’s largest employers and contributors, the 1,400 full and part-time staff at CIU 20 provides direct and indirect services to 79,000 public school children; 9,000 non-public school children; and 7,000 professional staff in our service region of 1,200 square miles.